The Cleveland Browns have been one of the worst franchises in the history of sports during a span of three years. Talent has been extremely difficult to come by. However, I’m going to go over the most important players on the Cleveland Browns roster today. Let’s get into the action.
Duke Johnson Jr., RB.
2017 stats: 16 games played. 82 car., 348 yds., 4.3 ypc., 4 TD’s / 74 rec., 693 yds., 9.7 ypc., 3 TD’s
Duke Johnson Jr. had a career year for the Browns and in many cases, was their lone bright spot. He scored a career high 7 total TD’s (4 rushing, 3 receiving) and racked up 1,041 total yards from scrimmage.
He is a perfect copy of today’s scatbacks in the NFL and can also run out onto the perimeter and catch passes. Evident from his team leading 74 receptions.
Jamie Collins, LOLB
2017 stats: 6 games played. 31 tackles, 3 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, 1 INT, 1 sack
The prized linebacker who the Browns acquired via trade with the New England Patriots last season struggled like hell to stay healthy. After suffering his 2nd concussion of the year against the Detroit Lions, Collins was regulated to injured reserve. How he comes back next season will be extremely vital to the success Cleveland has.
Joe Schobert, MLB
2017 stats: 16 games played. 144 tackles, 4 pass breakups, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 INT
Cleveland’s lone Pro Bowl player from this season, middle linebacker Joe Schobert lost weight and quickly gained a reputation as one of the most solid inside guys in the NFL.
Finishing tied for 2nd in the NFL in tackles with Green Bay’s Blake Martinez, Schobert definitely has found himself a home as the Browns’ absolute best defender and looks to build off of his breakout season. The return of Jamie Collins should not hinder his progress at all next season.
Whichever QB they choose in free agency
Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, Josh McCown, Jay Cutler (yuck), and A. J. McCarron are your choices of veteran signal callers in free agency. There are also a couple that you could acquire via trade.
The number on some of these guys will be much higher than others. However, the question remains is this a quick fix or a long term situation? If it is just a quick fix, keep each player’s number (projected salary per year) in mind.
Myles Garrett, DE.
2017 stats: 11 games played. 31 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass breakup
The No. 1 overall selection in the 2017 NFL draft out of the University of Texas A&M did not disappoint this season, despite battling a number of injuries (ankle, back, concussion).
His very first play from scrimmage in a home game Week 5 against the New York Jets resulted in a sack. He literally flew past left guard James Carpenter and buried Josh McCown into the turf. His ankle was still at only 80%.
This guy is an absolute player and is going to be a virtuoso for the Browns. Hopefully, he will be a foundational piece moving forward.
Joe Thomas, LT
Without a doubt, this player has been a cornerstone for the Browns franchise. Undoubtedly the 3rd best athlete to play professional sports in the city of Cleveland behind LeBron James and the great Jim Brown, Joe Thomas’ case is one that is a vague mystery and should be handled with much care.
This is the very last in-game image of Joe Thomas. The 11-year veteran suffered a torn triceps in a Week 7 home tilt vs. Tennessee. Well on his way to having his best individual season ever, he now finds himself contemplating retirement and at the age of 33, it very well may be his time. We’ll see if the offensive lineman comes back for a 12th crack at it.
Josh Gordon, WR
2017 stats: 5 games played. 18 rec., 335 yds., 67.0 ypg., 18.6 ypc., 1 TD
Easily the most important player on the Cleveland Browns if No. 73 decides to hang them up this year. The fact that he has been away from the game for almost 3 years and hasn’t missed a step is a true testament to how amazing and how much of a pure, natural, and perfect athlete he really is.
At 6’3 1/2″, 225 lbs., he is probably most physical and daunting prescence at the wide receiver position in the league today. This man is an absolute game changer who was a breath of fresh air in his few appearances last season. He looks to be the same guy that led the NFL in receiving yards back in 2013 with 1,646.
Of course the biggest issue, other than finding a quarterback who can get him the ball efficiently, is making sure that he stays on his current on-going path to righteousness.
Gordon has had numerous run-in’s with the law and the league, but the Browns have stuck by him. You can never give up on a once in a lifetime talent like him. It’ll be pandemonium in Cleveland if he suits up for all 16 next season.